Fish-in cycle with a baby fancy goldfish?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Pikaranchu, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    I have a 20g long tank, and a baby pearlscale goldfish (about 1" long). I got the fish from a friend who was keeping 3 fancies in an uncycled 10 gallon. I'll have to convince her to upgrade or rehome the other two later but that's another story. I've always wanted a big beautiful goldfish so I was happy to take this pretty little one off her hands. This will be my first fish that isn't a betta, and my first attempt at cycling.

    Will this little fish be okay while I do a fish-in cycle? I can do water checks and changes as frequently as need be (any time the ammonia goes above .25 ppm right?) I have the API master test kit, and Seachem Prime and Stability.

    I've been researching like crazy and some sources online say that fish-in cycling is inhumane and harmful to the fish. Is that true? Even if I keep the ammonia down and keep the water dosed with prime?

    I'm going to pop into the local pet store which has a ton of aquarium gear/fish and ask for some cycled filter media. What else can I do?

    My work schedule allows me to come home in the middle of the day, so I'll be able to test the water multiple times a day and do changes as frequently as needed. I'm already extremely attached to my little fishy and if I can successfully help her grow and thrive I'm hoping it will inspire my friend to take better care of her fish.

    Help, advice, tips...anything?

  2. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore :)

    It's great that you took this fish under your care from being in a crowded tank. Most will say that fancies will do best in a 30-40g tank for one and 10g for each additional but it's better than where he was originally. Hopefully, your friend will upgrade soon for the other fish.

    You can safely do a fish-in cycle and you definitely have the right products to do so. If the ammonia and/or nitrite creeps up to 1ppm, you'll want to do at least a 50% water change dosed with Prime as well as dosing Stability daily until the numbers show you are cycled. If ammonia/nitrite is <1ppm, you can dose Prime for the full volume of the tank to keep the fish safe. Can you test your water parameters out of your tap and tank so we can see where you're at - pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?

  3. BeekerWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Pikaranchu and welcome to Fishlore!
    Yes, fish-in cycling is very dangerous and inhumane. Most people, myself included, end up doing it accidentally because they don't know or understand the cycle. It can be corrected or maintained (but I and most Fishlore members prefer corrected).
    Your best bet would be to pick up a bottle of Tetra Safe Start and follow the directions on the bottle.
    Your tank is good enough to hold only one fish (each goldfish requires 20 gallons of water). I hope you soon get the chance to start up a large goldfish tank to give your baby friends to enjoy.
    One very important tip:
    Don't trust any advice or information you get at the store. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, come ask the Fishlore members first. The people at the fish store are sales people. They have many different ways to make money off of customers and won't think twice of causing harm to your fish in order to sell you more items. Many people have found that out the hard way. Fishlore members have no ulterior, money-making motives. We are only concerned with the well-being of your fish and will do our best to help you.

  4. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore! I have heard about & seen pictures of pearl scale Angels (thanks @bizaliz), but who knew there were pearl scale goldfish! Please share a picture!

    As for your question ... As you can tell opinions are divided. You Can do a fish in cycle and will need to. You definitely have the right products with Prime & Stability. With a goldfish I would vote to use Stability over TSS because you can do water changes during the first two weeks, while with TSS you can't. I myself have happily used TSS, but goldfish are such waste producers I think 14 days might be a lot without a water change.

    Under the fresh water fish, then fresh water fish & invertebrates forums is a goldfish sub forum which might be a good place to get more goldfish specific questions answered. However this is a great place to ask about cycling your tank and getting yourself set up. And remember- picture please!
  5. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    Hopefully this picture works! It's hard to see her pearly scales because her color is so light, but she's also really small. Pearlscale Goldie's get very round so she's gonna be a real centerpiece fish!

    I look forward to getting a big big tank someday, but being single and renting/moving every few years that's just not in the cards for me yet. The 20 gallon was all I could comfortably carry home! My real dream is to have a majestic koi pond when I'm a rich old lady. ;)

    Thank you all for the advice and kind words. I know this is far from ideal but if I really stay on top of things I'm hoping my little buddy will be no worse for wear. She's really really cute, and very interested in everything I do while I'm futzing around her tank. The water testing in particular she's very curious about!! I'm calling her Clementine, not sure if I mentioned that yet!

    I was looking for the goldfish sub forum, I'll go check that out! Thank you!

    edit: that's a great idea to test just my tap water. I'm going to go do that!
  6. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Very cute and the name absolutely fits her!
  7. BeekerWell Known MemberMember

    She's a beautiful fish and that is a perfect name for her!
    Thank you for the picture!
  8. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    Ahh, she is beautiful. You can definitely do a safe fish-in cycle. It really comes down to keeping parameters within an acceptable range, dosing prime and doing water changes. My very first tank was with two fancy goldfish in a 20g so you'll have an easier time of it. It was very stressful for me at the time but I kept them safe :)

    Follow this formula using Prime and Stability:

    If ammonia + nitrites is less than 1.0 == dose prime for the volume of the tank, dose stability and re-check in 24 hours.
    If ammonia + nitrites = 1.0 or more == do a very large water change 50-75%, dose prime for full volume of the tank, dose stability and re-check in 24 hours.
  9. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    Just wanted to update everyone on how Clementine and I are doing with this cycling business!

    Went to my local pet shop and the guy was so nice and cut me a big piece of his filter media from his cycled tank. I stuffed it in my filter. I dumped a bottle of tetra safe start in there too since I've read so many good things about it on fishlore!

    Turns out my tap water tests .25 ppm for ammonia, so that was good to know! Still 0 nitrates as of my last test.

    Kind of hesitant to use prime because I read that the bacteria can't eat the ammonia once prime has done its thing. So just keeping an eye on the ammonia for now.
  10. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Using Tetra Safe Start Plus you normally dose with prime (or any other water conditioner), wait 24 hours then add in the TSS+.

    Hope all goes well!
  11. MothercrowWell Known MemberMember

    There are actual TSS+ instructions somewhere. I believe they say that if you have to add water while using TSS+, you should have some water stored in a jug that has been treated at least 24 hours before you need it. However, with TSS+, you aren't supposed to change the water for two weeks.

    I'm currently doing a fish-in cycle with common goldfish. I'm using Prime and Stability, with the formula that CindiL gave, because I can do a water change whenever the water parameters get too high. It makes me feel safer and more in control.

    I would also recommend that you add some biomedia, if you haven't already. I had a tough time getting my cycle to start until I added Fluval ceramic rings to my filter, but I got my first nitrites less than a week after adding the ceramic rings to my filter. Coincidence, maybe, but it seems to be making my life easier.

    This should take you to a Q&A for TSS+:

    It's not the instructions that I remember, but it answers a lot of questions.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  12. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    WE GOT NITRITES! Whoohoo! Something is working... :) Ammonia seems to just be hanging around at around .5 ppm though. Think some of that is just from my tap water though.
    I'll look into getting some biomedia!

    I also finally got a chance to whip out the good camera and snagged this little gem of miss Clementine.
    Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 11.45.30 AM.png
    Such a happy little critter :;fg

    Attached Files:

  13. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    She's very cute!
    How are you keeping her safe right now from the ammonia and nitrites? Are you dosing prime daily and following the formula?

    What is your ph?
  14. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Are you following the TTS protocol now with no water changes for 14 days or are you doing Prime & Stability? And you have media from the fish store... And it doesn't really matter at this point you are getting close!
  15. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    Well, I added TSS+ this morning (I only had the standard TSS yesterday, I went out and got the better stuff). TSS+ claims that it makes the ammonia and nitrite safer for the fish. Is that good on its own or should I still be dosing prime?

    Also as of my most recent test the ammonia is down to .25! Better than .5 anyway.
  16. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    The media from the fish store was the game changer! The guy seemed a little surprised that I wanted his "dirty filter media" but was more than happy to help.

    I think I'm going to stick with TSS+ for the moment, though I'm a little wary of no changes for two weeks. The more I read up on this stuff the more opinions I see on it!
  17. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    What is your ph?

    I would add in 1 tsp of aquarium salt per 10g to keep her safe from nitrite poisoning. No matter what I wouldn't let them get up towards 1.0 without doing a water change. You can't really use prime with TSS+ which is the downfall of it (in my opinion) though it works really well for a very low bioload fish and tank startup.

    I think you should be ok with TSS+ because you're pretty far along in your cycle anyways. Just keep a close eye on things :)
  18. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    Aquarium salt! Got it!
  19. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    Okay so I was out for a night and just got back (gone for a little over 24 hours total). Just checked all my parameters- nitrites down to zero, nitrates up to 5.0 (yay!) but my ammonia is up to like, 3.0 ppm! What?! Can I do a water change or no because of the TSS+? Panicking a little!!

    Also! My ph is sticking around 7.4.
  20. PikaranchuNew MemberMember

    Bump... If I don't hear from anyone I'm just going to do a 50% water change and hope for the best?

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